I sent a (pretty different) version of the email below to a small section of our list last week, and I am so grateful for the responses I got. In sharing our stories, we find strength. We need this strength as we roll up our sleeves for the massive work to come. As Kate McKinnon (dressed as Hillary Clinton, singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”) said on SNL this week, “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.” Big, big love – CP
Dear Emerging Women,
Tuesday night hit me like a punch to the gut. Like everything I believed about who we’ve become and where we’re headed was jerked out from under me like a tablecloth in some gaudy, awful magic trick. I have spent the last week going through the motions trying to reconcile this pain in my chest, the grief in my bones. Today I surrender to it.
Surrender, you ask? Is that a typo? We need to engage, we need to rally, we need to fight! Yes, all this is true. But there is something very powerful in this heartbreak, and I want to bring it with me to the front lines.
Herman Hesse said, “God sends us despair not to kill us; He sends it to us to awaken new life in us.”
I am ready for this new life. I am ready for a global collective that has the courage to love big and to dream gigantic – even in the face of heartbreak. Maybe especially in the face of heartbreak, for it is through the common human experience of love, loss and longing that we can truly feel connected with others, regardless of what may stand between us.
Maya Angelou said, “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” The power of a recovered capacity for love is perhaps the greatest force in the universe because it knows the sacredness of our shared humanity. It is from this place that I want to move forward into the world.
At Emerging Women Live, Glennon Doyle Melton said, “Tell me what breaks your heart I will tell you your purpose.” If you, like me, are sitting with a broken heart, let’s work together to create a world where all people feel included and love is the driving force behind all that we do.
It’s hard to forget a broken heart. So let’s not. Let’s remember. Remember what we stand for, what we love, what made our heart break in the first place. And let’s fight for that with strength, compassion and a fire that refuses to be extinguished.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I truly believe that intersectional feminism will bend that arc like a bow, speeding the path to justice for ALL. So this is not the end. This is an exposé. The skeletons have come tumbling out of America’s closet, and I’m ready to tackle them. With my sisters. Together, we can heal, we can protect, we can uplift, we can impact. And we will. I know we will.
This is a call for citizenship. To live a life of active participation. To place solidly at the center of our focus not just “How can I make my life better?” but “How can making my life better be relevant to making the world a better place?” or in other words, “How can I use my privilege to serve?”
Emerging Women and our sister organizations give me hope. I’m grateful that we’ve built a community that celebrates both individual expression and collective compassion, values that will lead us into a brighter, more just future. Diversity, empathy, and inclusion make us powerful, innovative, creative, and bold.
In unity, we are transformation personified. We are alchemy. We are revolution. And we are love and love again.
Chantal Pierrat | Founder, Emerging Women